Investigators at the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) have turned over the investigation into the Ricky Cobb II killing by a Minnesota state trooper to the Hennepin County attorney for a charging decision.
The case, which was turned over to the county attorney’s office last Tuesday, won’t result in a fast and easy charging decision. Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty said several state troopers, who were not involved in the killing but may have information related to the case, refused to cooperate.
“We are disappointed by this lack of cooperation as the family, the community, and the troopers involved in this incident all deserve answers,” said Moriarty in a statement. The BCA declined to comment on the issue, citing an ongoing investigation.
Cobb II was killed on the morning of July 31 by state trooper Ryan Londregan during a traffic stop on I-94 at Dowling Avenue. Initially pulled over for not having his vehicles’ taillights on, trooper Brett Seide wanted Cobb II to step out of the vehicle to discuss a probable cause hold from Ramsey County for violation of an order for protection. Wondering why he needed to step out of the vehicle, Cobb II was eventually placed under arrest by Seide. Londregan shot him as Seide attempted to wrestle him out of the vehicle and Cobb II tried to drive off.
Although Cobb II had a gun in the vehicle, it was located in the back seat, and at no point was Cobb II shown to be handling a gun on body-camera video.
Despite the lack of cooperation from Londregan’s colleagues, Moriarty pledged to use “all resources available” to them to review the case, going as far to say that they identified a use-of-force expert even before they received the investigation from the BCA.
“We selected this expert even before we received the completed investigation so that we could move forward with our work immediately upon receipt of the file,” said Moriarty in a statement. Moriarty also called for patience from the community, some of whom demand Londregan be fired and charged, as they work on the case.
The Cobb family attorneys, former South Carolina state representative Bakari Sellers, Harry Daniels and F. Clayton Tyler, thanked Moriarty in a statement and added that they remain hopeful the investigation will result in a charging decision despite uncooperative state troopers.
“While we are disappointed and deeply troubled that some state patrol officers have refused to cooperate with the BCA investigation, we remain hopeful that this investigation will lead to a semblance of justice, not only for the family of Ricky Cobb II, but for all the people of Minnesota,” said the attorneys.
The attorneys also warned Londregan and his colleagues about not cooperating with the investigation. “The old ways of silence and turning a blind eye are over. Accountability is coming no matter how hard you try to hide,” said the attorneys.
Meanwhile, Imran Ali, the former Washington County attorney and current president of the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, lambasted Moriarty’s comments as running afoul of her job and the profession. “As a former prosecutor, it’s clear her comments run contrary to due process rights. Prosecutors are the ministers of justice, and these statements unethically tip the balance,” said Ali.